SET index up 10.45 points
- Published: 5/07/2013 at 05:06 PM
- Online news:
Thai stocks edged up 0.7% on Friday in thin trade as the July 4 holiday in the United States reduced global trading activity.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand Index rose 10.45 points from Thursday to close at 1,441.33, a decrease of 0.7% from the previous Friday's close of 1,451.90. Turnover was low at 36.8 billion baht, with 5.85 billion shares traded. The local market is up 3.6% from the end of 2012.
Foreign investors were net buyers on Friday of 1.33 billion baht worth of Thai shares. Local institutions were net sellers of 1.14 billion baht and brokers sold 199.1 million. Individual investors were net sellers of 388.7 million baht.
For the year to date, foreign investors have sold 78 billion baht more in Thai shares than they have sold. Local institutions are net buyers of 66.9 billion baht.
In world markets, optimism that easy European and US monetary policy will continue lifted sentiment as investors awaited a key US jobs report later in the day.
The prospect of continued monetary stimulus helped offset worries earlier in the week of a Chinese slowdown, European debt woes re-emerging and disruption of energy markets due to the military coup in Egypt.
Indications that the US economy is growing - but probably not fast enough for the Federal Reserve to rush into trimming its purchases of $85 billion a month in bonds to keep interest rates low - buoyed markets that had been spooked in recent weeks at the prospect of such stimulus ending.
"It's been a wild ride over recent weeks, but market volatility is set to ease as markets undergo an eventually successful transition to Fed tapering," Credit Agricole analysts said.
While overall Asian growth appeared to have slowed in early 2013, China should "gradually re-accelerate" in the second half of the year, they added.
In early European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.2%, Germany's DAX added 0.1% and France's CAC-40 was down 0.3%. Both Dow and S&P futures were up 0.9%, pointing to gains on Wall Street after the July 4 holiday.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed up 2.1% to 14,309.97 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.9% to 20,854.67. Taipei's TAIEX jumped 1.4% to 8,001.82.
Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1% to 4,841.70 and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1% to 2,007.29. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.3% to 1,833.31 after Samsung Electronics fell nearly 4% as quarterly operating profit missed targets.
In Bangkok, the SET50 index of blue chips ended at 977.53 points, up 8.53 points, with total trade value of 25.87 billion baht. The SETHD index of high-dividend shares rose 16.50 points to 1,175.94, with turnover of 10.7 billion baht. The Market for Alternative Investment gained 2.70 points to 398.59, with transaction value of 2.38 billion baht.
The five most active shares by value were PTT, rising 6 baht to 348; the contractor Ch. Karnchang (CK), up 1 baht to 18.60; KBANK, up 2 baht to 181.50; PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), up 2.50 to 72 baht; and ADVANC, down 3 baht to 283.
In the currency markets, the baht recorded another weekly decline on concerns over slowing growth in China and reduced Federal Reserve stimulus if the US economy improves.
The Finance Ministry cut its 2013 economic growth forecast to a range between 4% and 5% on June 27, from 4.8% to 5.8% earlier, citing the slow recovery of trade partners.
The country's exports fell 5.3% in May after rising only 2.9% in April, with shipments to China, the country's largest export market, sliding 16%.
The baht was trading late Friday in Bangkok at 31.12/15 to the dollar, compared with 31.08/10 on Thursday, and 31.00/05 a week earlier. The currency has lost 1.8% so far this year after slumping 5.8% in the second quarter, the most since the third quarter of 2000.
Signs of an improvement in the US economy "reinforce the notion of a stronger dollar trend”, said Vishnu Varathan, an economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in Singapore.
Thailand's foreign-exchange reserves fell to $170.8 billion in the week ended June 28, compared with $172.8 billion a week earlier, the Bank of Thailand reported on Friday.
Government bonds recorded a second week of gains as data from the Thai Bond Market Association showed foreigners were net buyers of local assets this week through Thursday, purchasing $126 million more than they sold.
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